Wednesday, January 9, 2013

H5N1 found in 20% of environmental samples from Cambodian bird markets

About 20% of environmental samples from Cambodian live-poultry markets were positive for H5N1 avian flu in a recent study, according to a report yesterday in Emerging Infectious Diseases. Cambodian researchers collected samples for 7 weeks in 2011 from poultry cages or stalls housing chickens and ducks at four live-poultry markets. Two of the markets were in Phnom Penh, one in Takeo province, and one in Kampong Cham—all in south-central Cambodia. Of the 502 environmental samples tested, 90 (18%) were H5N1-positive by polymerase chain reaction, and 10 (2%) by virus isolation, with water samples yielding the highest rates of positive findings. The researchers write that environmental sampling of these markets would better detect H5N1 than the current method of using cloacal or throat swabs, which they say rarely detects the virus.

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